Flying Fox Bat Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Can you image a fox flying in the air? That must be what the people who named the flying fox bat thought they saw. This lesson teaches you about the flying fox, what it eats and how it lives.

A Fox That Flies?

What's that in the sky? It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a flying fox!

Not quite. Picture an animal that has wide, leathery wings and a face that looks like a fox, and you'll understand what a flying fox bat looks like. This bat has a pointy nose, big eyes, and short ears sticking up above its head. Flying foxes are covered with dark fur and have long toes that are good for grabbing hold of tree branches.

The wide wings of a flying fox
Flying Fox Wings

Flying foxes are the largest of all bats, and are sometimes referred to as megabats. The body of this bat is about a foot long, and its wings can be three to six feet across. Even though they are big, they only weigh a couple of pounds, which makes it easier for them to fly.

Where Do They Live?

Flying fox bats live in warm, wet places, like rainforests. They can be found in the rainforests of Australia. They live in large social groups called colonies or camps where hundreds or even thousands of flying foxes can be spotted hanging upside down from the tops of trees.

A flying fox colony
Flying Fox Colony

They talk to each other through chirps and calls and stay cool by fanning their wings and licking themselves.

What Do They Eat?

You might have heard that some bats use a type of radar to locate and capture flying insects. Flying fox bats don't have that talent because they are not insect eaters. They are a type of fruit bat, and would rather eat fruits, nectar, flowers, and pollen than bugs. They are nocturnal, which means they are active and feed at night; they use their strong sense of smell and sight to locate dinner.

Flying fox bats help to spread pollen and seeds. Pollen picked up from the flowering plants they feed on falls off their fur as they fly allowing it to spread. The flying fox also poops a lot. The poop is dropped as they fly, allowing seeds in the poop to get dispersed to different areas.

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